Jan 25, 2012

Music and Me

Most resumes one comes across will have ‘Music’ listed as a hobby. Well, it was in my resume also about 3 years ago. I’d mentioned books/ reading as well. To me both are extinct today – from my life at least. I don’t have any hobby now. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I only have serious business and I call that parenting. I manage to get some office work also done in the meantime. Come to think of it, they should’ve never been featured as my hobbies. I’d taken neither seriously.

I love to read books and I’ll do that even today if I can curl up in a corner with some tea and chips. Oh how I love to listen to music. I cannot for the life of me, multitask – to me raising two children, managing work, in-laws and home is multitasking enough. The rest of the time I get goes indulging the TV. I like that I don’t have to use my mind when watching it. Given a chance, I don’t mind getting back to reading books…in fact I yearn for it on days, I’m sure the chance will present itself soon.

But music….it’s a long story. I haven’t figured out what I like. I can’t understand English music, of any kind. My dad had banned Abba as he thought it to be choir-ish. I don’t think he listened to anything English after that. It was mostly Indian Carnatic music and Tamil film music that got played on loops in our home. In my teens, I tried following some of the then favorites to look cool…I still like my Backstreet Boys. I got tired of trying to associate my ‘love’ for music with a genre. In a typical Tam-Bram household, girls are almost always sent to a Carnatic music teacher for vocal lessons. My grand-ma was a teacher herself. She taught me for some days and when back home from vacations, I went to some nearby aunties to get trained. After I started, my sister also joined. She was slow initially, but surpassed me in later years in both gaining the depth and voice culture. So ran my training for over twelve years. There were some parts of those years that I enjoyed. But I don’t think I grasped enough. I was and am pretty mediocre. I didn’t want to keep showcasing my mediocrity, especially when my sister was doing way better. I just conveniently used by board exams and lack of interest to drop out of my music classes. She continued though…well into her undergrad days in Pilani and did some catching up in her grad days in the US. My grand-ma still insists on listening to us sing together. Apparently my sister’s voice provides the nuances to a song, while I give the body required for a duet. She even imagines that we could’ve rocked the Carnatic music scene had we been committed. Well…I don’t want to break the truth to her. I was never interested. Music does not make sense to me.

Please don’t judge me. I love Ilayaraja, some AR Rahman, some Bollywood music and Carnatic music renditions. I listen to them. I hum a lot of songs. I sing lullabies to my children. I catch the tunes of even ad jingles very fast and sing along when they play again. That’s how much I am capable of. I was in denial before. That how could I not enjoy music so passionately? How could I be the person who’s no more than a simple lay audience when the family and friends are full of junta who knows-it-all. I have friends who are crazy rock music fans, they strum, they sing along, they head bang…I just watch them and revel in the moment. I enjoy their company and a chance to see them display their passion is all that I want to observe. Music, at that moment, appears to be their food, air and soul and it’s great to see them that way. I don’t seek/ search for the new records that are released..if I happen to hear something, it stays with me for some days and then I forget until its played again by someone. I don’t have the patience to sit through a song for its lyrics. I can’t understand the beauty in poetry. I read some…if the first couple of lines catch my attention or if its highly recommended by friends. My husband loves poetry. I don’t know why anyone appreciates it. They might not be able to get why its not my cuppa. I’ve realized that I am not an arts person. Even when I’d mentioned the learning to dance as a to-do thing in my bucket list, I think it was more to do with the fun I could have with Sri.

To someone who raises an eyebrow –  don’t know Scorpions? Beatles? Metallica? Indian Ocean?.....Sorry, NO.

Go ahead. Judge. I won’t.

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